How Pakistan stole an Aussie’s heart

By JOEL HILL

“Don’t go, comrade, they kill cricketers there!” This was the general reaction I received when I told people back home I was going to Pakistan.

They would also ask, “Why?”

I wasn’t entirely sure of the answer to that. All I knew was that when you get a chance to go somewhere that you otherwise would never be able to, you go.

There are some nutters that do it alone. They don’t speak the language and have this bizarre feeling of invulnerability. They come to Pakistan, hitchhike around in blissful ignorance of the possible dangers and almost always survive. I am envious of these people and definitely not one of them.

Luckily, I had a friend on the inside, Madeeha. She promised to show me the true side of Pakistan, and that is exactly what I saw from one entry point, Karachi all the way to the other, Khunjerab.

The warmth! The people are lovely, that’s just the way it is.

Nobody tried to rip me off, leer at me like I was an alien (well, there was some confusion initially) or generally appear threatening or nasty. People always wanted to say hello, offer us chai, have a photo taken and just chit chat.

Some would say, “Tell your friends back in Australia we are good people.” Which I have.

The pictures I took show breathtaking landscapes, glorious mountains and stunning lakes, but while my phone captured the vista, the people captured my heart.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1209973/

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